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Shadow Mountain



9.9 mile 15.9 kilometer out and back
87% Runnable


Ascent: 1,798' 548 m
Descent: -1,798' -548 m
High: 9,861' 3,006 m
Low: 8,311' 2,533 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 37% (20°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Brian Smith

A west-side run that rewards with stellar views of the divide, Grand and Shadow Mountain Lakes.

Brian Smith

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


Visit an early fire lookout resting near the summit of Shadow Mountain and experience a fantastic view of Shadow Mountain Lake, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby. This run can
be accessed from either the Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Dam trailheads for
the East Shore Trail.

Need to Know

A small fee is required for parking in the Arapaho National Recreation Area.


Follow the East Inlet Trail to the south along the eastern shore of Shadow Mountain Lake. This is a mostly flat trail that offers serene views across the lake. Just under two miles from the TH, you'll reach a junction with the Shadow Mountain Trail. Turn left and start up the Shadow Mountain Trail. The trail contours up the western flank of Shadow Mountain at a very manageable grade. Fairly continuous dense forest make this a trail with with fairly limited views. Every so often, you'll catch a glimpse of Grand or Shadow Mountain Lake through the canopy.

Eventually, you'll reach a sign that directs you to the fire tower. Follow the trail to the fire tower and climb the tower for stunning panoramic views. To the west, the Never Summer Range dominates the horizon. You'll also have great views of Grand, Shadow Mountain and Granby Lakes from the tower.

From here, retrace your steps back to the TH.

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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


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Aug 18, 2018
Brian Steele
Trail was clear all the way up - fire tower is closed 10mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 8 votes


in West Side


  4.3 from 8 votes
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in West Side


in Colorado


26 Views Last Month
3,766 Since Jan 30, 2015



Shadow Mountain and Granby from the Lookout with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link:
Jan 15, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
Trees and Sun up to the Lookout with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link:
Jan 14, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout
Nov 23, 2017 near Grand Lake, CO
Summer's view over Shadow and Granby. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link:
Aug 15, 2016 near Grand Lake, CO


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